I just scanned this old negative a few minutes ago. (If you’re not viewing this on Tracking the Light, you’ll need to click the link to get the full effect of the image.)
Back in late 1996, friend Doug Moore (and Tracking the Light grammar and fact checker) had lent me a Baby Speed Graphic (sorry I don’t recall the specific model.).
This camera used a roll film back and featured both a leaf shutter and a focal plane shutter, which made it useful for exposing railroad photographs.
Among the images I made was this view of a westward Conrail freight from the bridge at West Warren. Tracking the Light viewers will likely recognize the location as I’ve often posted pictures from here.
Using Lightroom I was able to make some simple contrast and exposure adjustments that greatly improved the overall appearance of the photo.
Snow in May? When I awoke I was astounded. But sure enough, on May 7, 1989, there was about six inches of fresh snow on the ground at Scottsville, New York.
I’d immediately mobilize to make use of the unusual weather.
Heavy wet snow with freshly budding trees was a disaster for signal code lines. Branches had brought down lines along both Conrail’s former Water Level and Erie routes.
I learned of a couple of trains working east from Buffalo on the Erie line. First I chased DHT-4, a Delaware & Hudson double stack, then I doubled back west to pick up Conrail’s BUOI led by General Electric C30-7A 6598.
The train had 103 cars and was moving along at little more than a walking pace.
I exposed this view near Swains, New York using my father’s Leica M3 with a 50mm Summicron. The snow made for some peculiar contrast that was well suited to Kodak Plus X.
My notes from the day read: “Snow! V.Bright” with some light meter readings in footcandles to aid in processing.